Bogus News Story of the Day
My take: The Washington Post story is clearly bogus. There is no common thread between the far left, libertarian, conservative, and down right crazy web sites they have put on the list. The only thing they all have in common is that they have all reported on wiki-leaks revelations. It is possible that wiki-leaks is a front for Russian Intelligence. But that does not make you a Russian stooge to report on what wiki-leaks revealed about Hillary Clinton. Nobody was calling the mainstream media Russian stooges when wiki-leak revelations were used to make George Bush look bad.
In the News
Appointing ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis to Lead the Pentagon Could Be Trump’s Best Decision. I am linking to this one not because I agree with the title but because it provides a good overview of the Mattis career. Personally, I don’t think he is enough of a politician to be an effective Sectary of Defense. But the rumor is that we are going to find out.
Not in the news but should be
First Brexit then Trump. Is Italy next for the west’s populist wave? Italy tops my list of future shocks to the euro zone. If the EU breaks up, it will be Italy that does it.
Entertainment of the Day
Since “Mad Dog” Mattis is in the news, we figured we would lead off with this clip from the TV series Generation Kill. What is being depicted here is the argument that lead to Colonel Dowdy being fired. To quote Wikipedia on the matter…
He also was noted for a willingness to remove senior leaders under his command at a time when the U.S. military seemed unable or unwilling to relieve under-performing or incompetent officers. During the division’s push to Baghdad, Mattis relieved Colonel Joe D. Dowdy, regimental commander of Regimental Combat Team-1, and it was such a rare occurrence in the modern military that it made the front page of newspapers. Despite this, Mattis declined to comment on the matter publicly other than to say that the practice of officer relief remains alive, or at least “We are doing it in the Marines.” Later interviews of Dowdy’s officers and men revealed that “the colonel was doomed partly by an age-old wartime tension: Men versus mission—in which he favored his men” while Mattis insisted on execution of the mission to seize Baghdad swiftly.
In the clip below, it is Mattis who is giving out the profane chewing out to Dowdy….
It is too simplistic to say that Mattis cared about the mission and Dowdy cared about the men. I think both men would have said they cared about both. The issue is that a rushed assault against defended urban positions often is a blood bath (Dowdy position/fear) but letting an enemy catch his breath and settle in can result in even more causalities (Mattis/fear position). Most great generals throughout the ages have had similar instincts to Mattis, but a lot of disasters have resulted from that mindset as well (Think Lee at Gettysburg or Grant’s entire wilderness campaign). For Mattis, it all worked out in the end so he is held to be a genius. But he did push his guys to do crazy dangerous things.
As a direct result of Mattis to keep advancing whatever the costs, Marines raced lightly armed humvees through a hostile city as is depicted in the clips below. It worked, but it was crazy dangerous.